The Kennedy Center

Twyla Tharp 50th Anniversary

Twyla Tharp 50th Anniversary Tour

Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - Saturday, November 14, 2015

Contemporary Dance

An evening of new work by Tony Award–winning choreographer and Kennedy Center Honoree Twyla Tharp celebrates Tharp's five decades of dance-making.

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50th Anniversary Tour

Twyla Tharp, Artistic Director
New York, NY

"These are unmistakably the work of a master. There is so much in them: so much variety, so much life."
--The New York Times
"This ambitious adventure marks a rare achievement in the world of dance: five decades of choreographing."
--The Washington Post

Read Twyla Tharp's tour blog in the New York Times.

Celebrate five decades of dance-making from the Tony Award–winning choreographer and Kennedy Center Honoree with this double bill of new works performed by Tharp's fierce band of dancers! 

Following a flourish of trumpets and vibrant introductory fanfare by avant-garde musician John Zorn, Preludes and Fugues--set to J.S. Bach's "Well-Tempered Clavier"--radiates with Tharp's generous spirit and humanity. Then, wild and raucous humor runs rampant in Yowzie, fueled by the jazz of Henry Butler and Steve Bernstein. In each premiere, Tharp turns her decades of experience into proof that time is her partner as she continues to deepen and expand the singular imagination which makes her one of the century's most treasured artists.

"Preludes and Fugues is a loose-limbed ballet… juxtaposing classical vocabulary of pirouettes and jetés with slinky jazz moves and storytelling gestures that give the work its soul."
--The Dallas Morning News

"Yowzie immediately enters the pantheon of heart-stopping works by one of the most inventive choreographers of the 20th century."
--The Dallas Morning News

Free Explore the Arts Post-Performance Discussion
Wednesday, November 11
Performance Timing: Part One - 47 min.; Intermission - 15 min.; Part Two - 35 min.


The Twyla Tharp 50th Anniversary Tour program is exclusively new work: Preludes & Fugues and Yowzie. These works were commissioned by The Joyce Theater, New York with funds from the Estate of John L. Klebanoff, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C. (lead commissioners); Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University & Ravinia Festival Association, Chicago; TITAS Presents in association with AT&T Performing Arts Center, Dallas; and The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Beverly Hills. This work was also made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Watch and Listen

Preludes and Fugues Double Duet

Preludes and Fugues Mens Trio

Yowzie Double Duet Trio

Yowzie Trio

Twyla Tharp’s Yowzie

Twyla Tharp on her 50th Anniversary Tour